Our Team

Nicola McKinney


Nicola is a commercial litigator with nearly 20 years’ experience, specialising in complex commercial and cross-jurisdictional disputes, particularly fraud and breach of trust claims. She is highly experienced in executing and advising on worldwide freezing orders and other forms of interim relief.

Nicola practised as a barrister for ten years before joining a leading boutique litigation firm, working on some of the most high-profile cases in the London courts and internationally over the past decade.

She is also called to the Bar in The Bahamas and has advised in relation to Bahamian law.


Nicola started her practice as a tenacious defence advocate, quickly developing a commercial practice advising individuals and businesses in crisis, and appearing in the Crown Courts, Chancery and Commercial Courts, Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Privy Council. She has drawn on her multi-disciplinary background when working on the most complex cases, particularly where there are simultaneous criminal and civil disputes with potentially competing strategies, coordinated legal and media attacks, and multiple proceedings ongoing in several jurisdictions.

Nicola regularly works with clients in the energy sector, in the digital and technology sectors, in the wealth advisory and finance sector, and in the luxury hotel and hospitality industry. She has acted for and against foreign governments and government institutions. Many of her clients include high net worth individuals (and their businesses), who know her as a trusted advisor who will go the extra mile, and who will work with them towards commercial, as well as legal, goals. Her cases often involve reputational and political sensitivities and have an international aspect.


Key Cases

D’Aloia v Persons Unknown & Ors

[2022] EWHC 1723 (Ch)

Nicola acts for the leading Thai crypto exchange in High Court proceedings in relation to an alleged digital assets fraud in which injunctions were obtained against a number of crypto exchanges and in which substantive proceedings have been brought against them citing alleged unjust enrichment. The case has been well publicised due to the novel permission granted to serve defendants by way of non-fungible token.

Celestial Aviation Trading Ireland Limited and Ors v Volga-Dnepr Logistics B.V.

Nicola acts for the defendant airline cargo and operations company in £225 million Commercial Court proceedings. The Claimant aircraft leasing companies allege that guarantees given by the defendant in relation to multiple aircraft leases were breached and defaulted upon.

Confidential UHNWI client

Nicola represented a high-profile individual in connection with multiple simultaneous proceedings valued at several billion dollars, against the individual personally and their business interests, in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, coordinating defence and counter-suits and a petition to the European Court of Human Rights. The case involved allegations of fraud and corruption, political motivation and data hacking and leaks.

Maroil Trading Inc. & Ors v Cally Shipholdings Inc. & Ors

[2020] EWHC 3041 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 2949

Nicola acts for the claimants in proceedings in the Commercial Court involving high profile allegations that a senior executive of a major litigation funder trader confidential client documents in return for sensitive material. The case has been recognised by The Lawyer magazine as one of its Top 20 Cases of 2022.

Confidential corporate client

Nicola acted for a leading digital technology firm, advising in relation to potential legal and reputational exposure in ongoing high-profile proceedings involving claims of hacking and fraud.

Suppipat & Ors v Narongdej & Ors

[2020] EWHC 3191

Nicola acted for a Thai businessman defendant in a $1- $2 billion fraud dispute in the Commercial Court, related to allegations of unlawful means conspiracy and misappropriation of shares in a renewable energy company. The case was listed in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022.

Fundo Soberano de Angola & Ors v Dos Santos & Ors

[2018] EWHC 2199 (Comm)

Nicola acted for one of the individual defendants, the owner of the corporate advisor to the claimant sovereign wealth fund, successfully obtaining the discharge of a $3 billion worldwide freezing order on grounds of material non-disclosure, in what is now one of the leading cases on the subject.

OJSC Bank of Moscow v Chernyakov

[2016] EWHC 2583 (Comm)

Nicola acted for Russian clients subject to a $250 million worldwide freezing order, including in applications to vary the living expenses allowance, and the successful conduct of a cross-examination as to assets. Nicola spearheaded a global team of lawyers and advisors in Cyprus, Dubai, Italy, Switzerland and offshore.

Bacardi and Company Ltd v Whyms & Ors

JCPC 2018/0053 (Bahamas)

Nicola acted as Privy Council agent for the respondents to an application for permission to appeal a decision from the Bahamian Court of Appeal, successfully arguing that no arguable point of law was raised so that permission to appeal was not granted. The appeal raised questions of public law, and the underlying dispute concerned the misuse of confidential information.

Confidential private client

Nicola advised a western African businessman in the oil industry in relation to an ongoing NCA investigation, which was discontinued following representations, and successfully obtaining the release of assets seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Education and Admissions

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

(AB cum laude)

London School of Economics and Political Science

(MSc (Hons))

Queen Mary, University of London

(LLB (Hons))

The College of Law, London

(Bar Vocational Course)

Called to the Bar

England & Wales (2004)
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas (2004)


At Quillon Law, our strategy is about measured growth whilst being recognised as a destination practice of choice, in attracting like-minded practitioners. We aim to create a significant partnership covering all our key practice areas: commercial litigation, fraud and finance disputes, white collar and regulatory disputes, supported by the development of a class-leading approach to development, purpose, responsibility and inclusion across the firm as it grows. If you’d like to find out more about developing a career with us, drop us a line at